Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

‘I played smarter’: Bedingham delighted with maiden Test century

"In this innings I was a bit more selective, so I'm glad I got through it."

Having taken a more calculated approach in the second innings of the second match against New Zealand, Proteas batter David Bedingham was all smiles on Thursday after scoring his first Test century.

Playing his fourth Test, Bedingham was superb, hitting 110 runs off 141 deliveries to keep the tourists in the hunt as they aimed to prevent a historic series defeat to their hosts in Hamilton.

“I think I was probably a lot smarter than I was in the first Test (at Mount Maunganui last week),” Bedingham said.

“In the first Test I was trying to go for everything, and in this innings I was a bit more selective, so I’m glad I got through it.”

Though he was less aggressive in his approach, however, the 29-year-old batter scored at a strike rate of 78.01, and he said he had taken advantage of opportunities to lift his team’s run rate and place more pressure on the Black Caps.

“I think the way I play is a positive brand, so when they had attacking fields there was an opportunity to score runs, and I’m thankful and lucky enough that it worked,” he said.

Proteas fighting hard

Bedingham led the Proteas to 235 all out in their second innings, setting New Zealand a target of 267 runs to win.

The Black Caps reached 40/1 at stumps, still needing 227 to secure their first ever Test series victory over South Africa.

And while the inexperienced Proteas squad needed to keep digging deep when they returned to the field in the early hours of Friday morning (SA time), still requiring nine wickets to level the two-match series, Bedingham hoped his effort would play a key role in what would be a memorable win for the under-strength tourists.

Either way, he was delighted to have taken his chance after being given another opportunity by Proteas coach Shukri Conrad to prove himself at Test level.

“It’s obviously really cool. I think two years ago I would never have expected to be here,” he said.

“So a lot of thanks goes to Shuks for showing confidence in me and giving me an opportunity to play and score some runs.”

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